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Urban Planning News

  • Creating a Universal Design City for All

  • Urban Planning News SMG 6797

    The Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) completed the development of the Universal Design Guidelines so that all citizens can safely and conveniently enjoy pedestrian roads and public spaces such as parks, plazas, health centers, and welfare facilities.

    A Universal Design creates a convenient environment for all citizens including children, seniors, the disabled, and foreigners, regardless of their physical condition or language ability, sense and cognition. Also known as ‘Design for All,’ the Universal Design is applicable to products, structures, spaces, and services.
    Since Seoul is becoming more diverse, the program focuses on providing a comprehensive service that caters to the specific needs of different groups in Seoul including the disabled, seniors, children, and foreigners.

    Side walks
    < Sidewalks > Restroom equipped with facilities for the handicapped and children

    Refer to cases in which information on staircases and slopes enabled the planning of the flow (England)

    < Parks > Refer to a playground that utilizes the sound of bells and drums for blind children (Singapore)

    Public Buildings
    < Public Buildings > (Left) Enhanced user convenience in non-handicapped restrooms
    (Right) Foothold for exchanging diapers (Japan)

    < Practical Design Guide for the 3 Core Areas (Roads, Parks & Plazas, Public buildings) of Urban Environment >

    “The SMG Universal Design Guidelines” operates under the four principles of ‘Convenience,’ ‘Safety,’ ‘Comfort,’ and ‘Selectability.’ Based on these principles, the SMG offers practical guidelines for the 29 sub-categories in the three core areas of roads, parks and plazas, and public buildings, which form the foundation of an urban environment.

    • Roads: Recommendations are made on pedestrian safety zones, vehicle entry zones, bicycle roads, local roads (install pedestrian priority roads), crosswalks, and speed reduction measures. For example, zigzag roads should be installed on local roads in residential areas and school zones to reduce vehicle speeds. Bicycle roads should be safely distinguished from pedestrian zones and be equipped with a bicycle parking lot and other facilities.
    • ○ Parks and Plazas : Recommendations are made on entry spaces, moving spaces (trails), sanitary spaces (restrooms), amenities, and rest areas (playgrounds). For example, there must be at least one multipurpose restroom inside a park that can be used by all citizens.
    • ○ Public buildings: Guidelines are suggested for various facilities inside public buildings such as pedestrian access roads, parking lots, lobbies, hallways, slopes, staircases, elevators, disaster prevention and evacuation facilities, restrooms, and nursing rooms.

    For example, the main door should be automatic so that visitors with strollers or those with full arms can enter without difficulty. A diaper-changing station should be installed inside men’s restrooms as well.
    The SMG will distribute a checklist along with the guidelines to the headquarters, business sites, affiliated organizations and each autonomous district in Seoul to make sure that managers can confirm the application of the guidelines. The checklist can also be downloaded at the SMG website (www.seoul.go.kr) and Design Seoul website (design.seoul.go.kr).